The NL - Volume 4 Issue 4 (The Spring Issue)

By: Various
Published: April 30, 1997
Series: NL

Inside: Rants, Yet Another NL Column About Nothing In Particular, The Critic's Corner


  

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        ║  - None                                                 ║
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/{}-{}-{}-{}-{}-{}\
*Just me, the nut.*
\<>=<>=<>=<>=<>=<>/

By Luc(as) French

Rant #1

I have recently encountered an excelent RPG by the name of _Ancient Domains of
Mystery_; What does this have to do with MZX/ZZT, you may ask? Well, for one,
it shows exactly what a GOOD computer RPG is. I've tried FF of various sorts,
and they always stuck me as closer to an "interactive movie" then to a REAL
game. But I've always prefered REAL games. The closest to this ideal that was
ever achieved in NES terms, in my opinion, was the first halves of the Mega Man 
series (the stage select area). What exactly am I ranting about, you may ask?

Well, I'll tell ya. I've been thinking about how a game goes; there are two
extreams: the Interactive Movie, where your path is set, and you make choises
to finish the movie; and the Real Game which attempts to make your path and
character as non-set as possible. I'm thinking of Wolf3D/Doom/Quake (But not
Duke Nuckem 3D) as one half of this ideal; _Ancient Domains of Mystery_
represnts the other; where your character can be as different as a Troll
Barbarian to a Elven Elmental Mage, to a Dwarvish Beastfighter. Almost anything
you can imagine could probibly be done.

By the _id_ extream, I mean you control the character completly, and have only
the perception of the character. The character is usually fearless, and the
plot is higly liner, but each level is more about thought then many might
think.

The _Interactive Movie_ extream is exemplified by the various stupidities of
the same name. The player has a choice of paths, but each path is planed from
the start. 

Of course, there exists the ZZT end. An interactive movie with a limited number
of kinds of interaction on the part of the player.

The ideal MZX game should aviod all of these; or at least state, and be
forceful about its choice of ends.

But that's just me and my nutty rants.

Until my next incoherantrant rant, I remain Luc(as) French.



_Ancient Domains of Mystery_ website:
http://users.aol.com/ADOMdev

FTP site:
ftp://adom.dartmouth.edu/adom

Kick me. I'm done.

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

Yet Another NL Colunm About Nothing In Particular
By Kevin Rohleder
(zeta@valunet.com)

Short and to the point:

As far as I know, nothing interesting has happened in the MZX world this
past month. I have not gotten any of Greg's MZXML mail for awhile now, and
very few messages from the NLML. Even when the MZXML is working, we should
still be sending messages over the NLML. Why did we stop? There were lots of
messages a couple of months ago for a few weeks, then BAM! they stopped
again. What's wrong?

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

                             The Critic Corner
                             (April's Games)
                             By E. CyberBRO
                             -----------------

MZX
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
NAME: RPG Engine
AUTHOR: Justin Scheetz (Cheezit100)
GRADE: B
LOCATION: AOL  
SIZE: 10K

QUOTE: "This is a very reliable RPG Engine which allows you to creat RPG with
a fight scene! It only took me about a day, and I used it from my RPG that I
made! I  think it would help you out a lot if you use it in an RPG game! It
takes up only 9.7 KB of space! It's cool, and by the way, I'm the creator of
Justin's Quest Demo, and if you hated that, you'll love this!
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fortunately:

         1. If you don't feel like creating your own engine download this.
         2. Nice effects.
         3. One of the few that are out there.

Unfortunately:

        1. Since this isn't a game It won't get ranked.  (Would have taken
           3rd.)
        2. I didn't examine the programming closely, a day?  Really?


MZX
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
NAME: Color Utility
AUTHOR: Dustin Hubbard (ZZTDude)
GRADE: ???
LOCATION: AOL
SIZE: 6K

QUOTE: "An excellent utility for MegaZeux programmers.  A must for an amateur
to a pro.  A very helpful utility with colors of enemies, items, walls, etc.
for MegaZeux games. You won't be disappointed.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fortunately:

        1. It's another utility for Megazeux.

Unfortunately:

        1. Can't really grade this because uhhh.... I'm sorry, what is the
           purpose?  All I see is stuff you can already do in Megazeux
           without going through the trouble of importing this board to the
           game.
        2. This concept needs to be worked out some more, just throwing a
           bunch of objects on one board and putting colors on them isn't
           what I call a utility.
        3. I WAS disappointed.  It reminds me of my ZZT Music Test utility
           in which all that was simply just objects with sound on them.
           (Touch the A object to get the A note.)

MZX
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
NAME: V1.1 Blue Buckaroo
AUTHOR: Dan Araujo (TotalKafka)
GRADE: C
LOCATION: AOL  
SIZE: 30K

QUOTE: "This is a remake of the Megazeux "classic" Blue Buckaroo. It has about
the same boards, but with new graphics, more of a story, and other less
important things."
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fortunately:

        1. I can't remember what the earlier version was like but I'm pretty
           this one is much better.
        2. Pretty decent graphics.

Unfortunately:

        1. The Author wasn't lying when he said "Now it sucks even less."
           the game STILL SUCKS bottom line.
        2. "More of a story" he says.  It's still extremely pointless and is
           quite difficult to stay interested.
        3. The colors he uses makes your character difficult to see.
        4. The last boss, as usual, is too damn easy!  In a small room
           shooting out 50 missles per second to the sides of him and you
           only need to pump only a few bullets into the last boss.


════════╤═════════════════════════════════╤═════════╤═════════════╤══════════
Ranking │Name of Game  /Author            │Grade:   │Time Reign   │Last Month
════════╤═════════════════════════════════╤═════════╤═════════════╤══════════
1st     │Talon's Tale  /by SnigWich       │A-       │3 Month      │1st
2nd     │Darbytown II  /by DNBishop       │B+       │1 Month      │2nd
3rd     │Mechzone Turbo  /by Jeff Stein   │B-       │3 Month      │3nd
4th     │Bomb Brothers /by SnigWich       │B-       │2 Month      │4rd
5th     │Arisa  /by Scott Barnes          │C        │3 Month      │5th
6th     │V1.1 Blue Buckaroo /by TotalKafka│C        │NEW          │---
7th     │Violence Pak  /by Xero942        │C-       │3 Month      │6th
8th     │Doomsday Dream  /by Cecil16      │C-       │3 Month      │7th
9th     │Castle Adventure  /by AlexMan2   │D        │3 Month      │8th
10th    │Justin's Quest /by Cheezit100    │D        │2 Month      │9th
════════╧═════════════════════════════════╧═════════╧═════════════╧══════════

-----Those that hit the road, Jack.  And they ain't commin' back-----

* Sonic III by AHMorrow -- Oops!  Now it's Sonic's turn to go.  This game
                           also sucked and should be remade and redesigned
                           pronto before it can get back on the chart again.

                           Time Reign: 1 Month               Grade: F+


-----Comments.....------

If anyone is still interested in ZZT and would like to do the reviews for
ZZT by all means send me some E-Mail and we'll talk.
(There just isn't enough MZX games around here)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

That's it for the NL this month.  Until next month :-)

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